I finally finished reading A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin. I say “finally” because it was a darn long book!
As part of my 101 Things in 1001 Days goal challenge, I promised to review on Caffeine and Conquer every book I read for the next 2 years!
Continue reading to find out more about the book, my thoughts and whether or not I would recommend it.
Beware, this review contains spoilers. In order to give my complete review of the book, I have to give away some major points in the storyline. Scroll forward if you have already read the book or knowing the storyline does not bother you!
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A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin
Published by: Bantam Books
Publication Date: 2011 (first published in 2000)
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Epic Fantasy
Format: Mass Paperback
Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the land of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, the victim of the jealous sorceress who holds him in her evil thrall. But young Robb, of House Stark, still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Robb plots against his despised Lannister enemies, even as they hold his sister hostage at King’s Landing, the seat of the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world. . . .
But as opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others–a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords. . . .
Synopsis retrieved from Goodreads.com
My Thoughts on A Storm of Swords
I loved A Storm of Swords, despite complaining the whole time that it had taken me two months to finish its 1177 pages! In comparison to A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings, this book moved the storyline forward in some significant areas and there were moments in the book that was so intense it caused me to put the book down and take a break because I was flabbergasted.
We finally see more of the wights and Others! They are talked about in the first two volumes, with very small appearances to foretell their incoming destruction and Old Nan’s storytelling but they do not make a major significant appearance until volume three. We finally understand why the Wildlings are moving for the Wall – to escape the Others. We also learn that they can be defeated with weapons made of dragonglass, which gives hope that Westeros has a chance against these otherworldly creatures.
It Was Something Right Out of Shakespeare!
I was also completely shocked by the deaths of many of the main characters. King Robb and Catelyn Stark, Lord Commander Jeor Mormont, King Joffrey and Lord Tywin Lannister, and Lysa Arryn just to name a few. After reading the moment of the “Red Wedding” in which Walder Frey plotted successfully the assassination of King Robb and Lady Catelyn, I was shocked and didn’t pick up the book for two days. It was brilliant and so Shakespearean that it had a huge impact on me as a reader. The other section of the book that affected me similarly was the epilogue in which we learn that Lady Catelyn Stark’s dead body was resurrected after several days of her death resulting in a disgusting decaying mute living corpse – I yelled out “ew!”, the imagery in my mind was ghastly, George R. R. Martin’s writing was amazing.
Sansa and Tyrion
I also wish the author would have explored the marriage between Sansa Stark and Tyrion Lannister a bit more. Despite the Lannisters being awful scheming people, we see their good side occasionally and in this case, it was Tyrion’s treatment of Sansa following the forced arrangement of their marriage. Of the three Lannister siblings, Tyrion appears the fairest, which almost makes you feel bad for him. I personally wish Sansa had been more kind to Tyrion and the author allow that union to continue rather than Sansa escaping from King Landing with the disgusting Peter Baelish. Though it makes sense, the Lannister’s have made such a bad name for themselves that it has affected the reputation of even the lesser of the evils.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in fantasy and medieval literature. The size of his books and length of the series can be discouraging to some people but the world George R. R. Martin has created, the intertwined stories of all the characters and the scheming make for a really good fictional story.
I gave A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
Let me know your thoughts on the book. What stood out the most to you? Were you as shocked as I was? Comment below!
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